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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21

    Help with packaged systems

    We have a 15 year old Trane gas/electric packaged system that needs to be replaced (heat went out and it isn't worth fixing). Since I need to make a quick decision, I was looking for advice.

    Should we just get another gas/electric system? Or a heat pump system? or a dual fuel system? We don't know how long we will be in this house, so we want to choose something middle of the road. I was thinking that the duel system might not be worth it, especially with our climate? And I am worried about the heat pump system because it would be running practically all year round. What do you think? Our current utility costs are 11 cents/kwh and $1.41/therm, including service charges. Also, I know Trane is a good brand. What other brands should I look into?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,873
    Don't make a quick decision, you'll be sorry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dallas & Longview, TX
    Posts
    629
    I vote for HP with either elect. heat or dual fuel. Be sure to have the ducting checked for proper air flow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    Don't make a quick decision, you'll be sorry.
    Nof offense, but do you have any useful information? Quick doesn't mean I am deciding today. But we are without heat and I don't like sitting downstairs in 60 degrees (not cold to a lot of people, but I am from Florida, so to me, it is freezing). I doubt anything can be sorrier than the inefficient 15-year old unit we have.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Daltex View Post
    I vote for HP with either elect. heat or dual fuel. Be sure to have the ducting checked for proper air flow.
    Can you elaborate as to why this would be your decision?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,873
    Quote Originally Posted by melbb View Post
    Nof offense, but do you have any useful information? Quick doesn't mean I am deciding today. But we are without heat and I don't like sitting downstairs in 60 degrees (not cold to a lot of people, but I am from Florida, so to me, it is freezing). I doubt anything can be sorrier than the inefficient 15-year old unit we have.
    The useful information, was not to rush into this but, it's your money, spend it as you see fit. After people rush into these type situations, they come here to complain about the finished product. Good Luck sport.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by the dangling wrangler View Post
    The useful information, was not to rush into this but, it's your money, spend it as you see fit. After people rush into these type situations, they come here to complain about the finished product. Good Luck sport.
    I understand. I wouldn't be here if I was in a huge rush. I just don't want to take a month. I was just wondering if you had any advice on specific systems (HP vs gas/electric vs dual fuel).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by melbb View Post
    Can you elaborate as to why this would be your decision?
    You mean besides the huge difference in heating cost? Heat pumps put a lot more heat per dollar into the home than either gas or electric.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    las vegas
    Posts
    1,505
    go with the dual fuel.
    our utilities are about the same as yours .117 kwh 1.26 therm
    & our savings werent that great due to the mild weather last winter
    but there were savings. i would go with the 14 seer icp & the iaq stat
    the dehu feature would probably be a good feature in your area.
    i will be upgrading from a 13 seer to the 14 seer in the near future
    unless icp comes out with a higher seer unit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21
    Thanks, Marvin. What does icp and iaq stand for?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,167
    Dual fuel.
    It will save you on your heating cost.
    Plus, when you decide to sell, it won't hurt the value of your house. And may help you not have to drop your price as much.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    las vegas
    Posts
    1,505
    icp international comfort products
    iaq honeywell t stat
    if your ductwork is proper & the unit set up properly on startup
    it will make a very good system for you

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    21
    Thanks for the responses.

    What kind of cost savings are we talking about with the heat pump/dual fuel systems? They cost more up front, right? So taking that into consideration, how long does it take to start realizing the savings?

    I am really concerned about the up front cost. I spoke with two people yesterday, neither of which recommended the heat pump or dual fuel. The first guy I wasn't impressed with and didn't give much explanation. And he spent very little time here. The second guy (recommended by a neighbor) I really liked. He was much more thorough (spent almost 2 hours here), did load calculations, etc. He also really mentioned without me bringing it up about how important installation was and how they were going to be more expensive than other people because their people were well-trained and managed, etc. I felt he was honest and would do a good job. Anyway, both gave a quote and a seer 13 carrier (the performance series) and the second quote was 20% higher. The second guy also gave me a quote for the Trane XL14 and that was quite a bit higher (40% compared to the first guy's carrier quote, first guy didn't sell trane). So, I am kind of in shock. Please also keep in mind that everything in this house is original. So we are looking at having to replace in the near future the upstairs HVAC, the roof, the water tank, the dishwasher, the stove. We already replaced all of our windows last year because they were failing. So, we are talking a lot of money, here. It isn't that we can't necessarily afford it, but we have been in the house for less than two years and don't have a large maintenance money reserve built up, so it means using yearly income normally earmarked for savings. And our yearly maintenance budget is only half of what these things cost.

    Anyway, with the dual fuel I can't imagine the gas would kick on very often as we don't spend much time below freezing. So then what is the advantage other than having two options if one of your utilities skyrockets? Also, what about comfort with heat pump heat? It was suggested that I wouldn't be very comfortable (being a very thin and petite female) with heat pump heat as it isn't as warm as gas heat and I would be running to the tstat to turn up the temp?

    Never heard of ICP. Are their products really any good?

    Sorry for the long post.

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